curly person running fingers through haircurly person running fingers through hair

Expert care for damaged curly hair

From one too many hair straighteners to extended exposure to the elements, dryness and heat damage can be a major bummer. Excessive heat, chemicals, or even just brushing or detangling a bit too harshly can cause long-lasting curl damage. The key to preventing long-term damage is curl care done carefully. Let’s explore how to understand and prevent damage to your curly hair in a few simple steps.

illustration of curly hair woman swimming

Wait, what damages curls anyway?

First, let’s get right to the root of the problem for all hair types. It’s important to identify the cause of the damage to be able to find a solution. Some elements can be more obvious, like heat damage from straightening your hair. In other cases, over-styling, harsh climate conditions, and even rough detangling can wear down your curls over time. Here are the top 5 things that can damage curls:


Heat styling: If your hair feels brittle or doesn't hold definition like it used to, then chances are you have heat damage from using a flat iron or curling iron. Curly hair can be more susceptible to heat damage. After all, textured hair is distributed differently from the follicle of the hair shaft, which causes weaker cross-sectional points than straighter hair. Heating can break the bonds in curly hair which can lead to the loss of curl pattern, brittle texture, breakage, and intense dryness. Instead, try the DevaDryer and DevaFuser® to help enhance curl definition and minimize harm from heat.

Over cleansing your curls: Washing your waves, curls, or coils every day can dry out your hair. If you suspect this happens to you, you may want to try cleansing your curls once or twice a week to allow natural oils to flourish.

Chemical treatments on repeat: Many chemical treatments can change the way your curls behave. While things like keratin protein treatments and brazilian blowouts are tempting for their promise of hassle-free mornings, they may damage your curls in the long run.

Rough detangling: If you tend to stretch, comb, or pull your hair as you detangle, this can shred the hair’s protective outer layer. A damaged cuticle causes your curls to be more prone to breakage — try to detangling in the shower before you wash your hair for optimal results.

Using the wrong type of hair products: Before you “add to cart,” pay close attention to the ingredients on the bottle. Avoid products that contain silicones, which can create an illusion of shine without the necessary hydration. Plus, any products with alcohol will eliminate moisture. That’s why DevaCurl products are always made without SLS/SLES Sulfates, Silicones, Parabens, or Gluten.

client at salon sink, hands in hair

How to repair damaged curly hair

Luckily, there are a number of solutions out there that are worth trying for any curly individual. Let's explore how to fix damaged natural hair.


First, get to the root of the problem: The first step for anyone looking to repair damaged hair is to level up your hair care routine. Whether it’s heat styling or another source, determine the cause of the damage in order to find a solution.

Use heat protectants: If you’re using a heat-styling tool, always use a heat protectant on your natural curls. While nothing will shield your curls completely, it can help avoid permanent damage.

Take a product break: If you think a certain hair product, deep condition treatment, or oil treatment is the issue, take a break for a few weeks and see if the condition improves. After all, overdoing the protein or moisture can damage your hair in the long run.

See a doctor: In some cases, damage can be caused by an underlying medical concern. If you notice scalp irritation or the thinning of your normally coarse locks, go to a medical professional to rule out anything else.

curly client in chair with stylist

Stylist-approved products for curly hair repair

The secret to caring for damaged curls is picking the right products. We recommend anything from our Repair and Bond collection. At DevaCurl, we’ve evolved right along with you. All of our products are dermatologist co-developed and backed by science to provide the ultimate Curl Flexibility™.

Shop Repair & Bond